Police intimidation of Malaysians intending to join the DAP

Adjournment Speech by DAP Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, in the Dewan Ra’ayat on Thursday, 13th January 1972

Police intimidation of Malaysians intending to join the DAP

Yesterday on adjournment, I spoke of police interference with opposition parties holding political discussions in the privacy of their own premises.

Today, I address myself to another aspect of police interference with democratic right of the people to participate in the political process.

When DAP organizers go out into the towns and villages to organize branches, they are invariably tailed by special branch men who are presumably required to find out who are the local people who are heading the local branch.

When the DAP organizers leave, these special branch men begin a campaign of harassment and intimidation against the local party activists, to try to frighten them out of their involvement with the DAP.

The new DAP local activists will be called to police stations, questioned, their identity cards demanded, threatened that unless they desist from forming the proposed DAP branch, they will get into trouble with the authorities. If these threats fail, and I am proud to say they have failed in large number of cases, these special branch men would visit the parents or relatives of the DAP activists, and put fear into them that unless they get their children out of the DAP, they will get arrested.

This has happened in the various outlying townlets and villagers in Malacca, like Masjid Tanah and Batu Berendam. It has happened in other States, like Tenang and Cha’ah in Johore and both in the parliamentary constituency of the Hon’ble the Asst.Minister of Labour.

I deplore such underhand, despicable and undemocratic tactics of the government. The people of Malaysia have a right to join any political party of their choice. Why should they be harassed, intimidated and hounded by the special branch in this way because they decided the DAP is the party of their choice? Do the special branch send out their men to harass and intimidate in like manner those who join MCA or UMNO, or in the process of forming MCA or UMNO branches in villages?

Only governments which are bankrupt politically, and fear the awakening of the people and want to avert the wrath of the people, resort to such tactics to deny the people their basic right to take part in politics.

I hope the Minister of Home Affair will bake a serious view of this flagrant violation of the democratic way of life, and issue directive to all special branch men to take their hands off and stop intimidating and harassing opposition-minded Malaysians.

Otherwise, the police and the special branch will have only themselves to blame if they are regarded by the people, not as the impartial defenders of law and order, but as enemies of political democracy, enemies of the people, and enemies of the country.